Critical Summary on Play by James Matthew Barrie The Admirable Crichton

     "The Admirable Crichton" is a comedic play written by J.M. Barrie, first performed in 1902. The play satirizes the rigid social hierarchies of Edwardian society and explores the theme of the reversal of roles and responsibilities when a group of people is stranded on a deserted island.

    The play centers around the character of Crichton, a butler in the household of Lord Loam, an aristocrat. Crichton is portrayed as a highly capable and efficient servant, earning him the admiration and respect of both the household members and the audience.

    However, the dynamics change drastically when the characters find themselves shipwrecked on a remote island. In this unfamiliar environment, the traditional social hierarchy collapses, and Crichton's survival skills and resourcefulness become invaluable. As he takes charge and becomes the de facto leader of the group, the play challenges the notion of class superiority and raises questions about the roles and expectations assigned to individuals based on their social status.

    Throughout the play, Barrie cleverly uses humor to highlight the absurdity of the strict class distinctions prevalent in Edwardian society. The upper-class characters, who were initially dismissive of Crichton's capabilities, now find themselves dependent on him for their survival. This role reversal exposes the fragility of social status and raises questions about the true measure of a person's worth and abilities.

    The character of Lady Mary, Lord Loam's daughter, adds an additional layer of complexity to the play. She is initially depicted as a headstrong and independent young woman, but her attitudes change when she falls in love with Crichton. This romantic subplot explores the idea of love crossing societal boundaries and challenges the conventional expectations of romantic relationships in a class-conscious society.

    As the characters are eventually rescued and return to their previous lives, the play concludes with a return to the original social order. However, the experience on the island leaves a lasting impact on the characters, as they have come to recognize the admirable qualities in Crichton and question the rigid social norms they once adhered to.

    "The Admirable Crichton" is a clever and thought-provoking play that uses humor and satire to critique the societal norms and class distinctions of its time. Through the island setting and the reversal of roles, J.M. Barrie challenges the audience to reconsider the value of character, capability, and adaptability over societal status. The play remains a classic work that continues to resonate with audiences, prompting reflections on social hierarchy, human nature, and the true meaning of admiration and leadership.

Post a Comment